Six Years Blogging
Steven Taylor’s PoliBlog turned six recently and, as he notes, OTB recently (on January 31st, to be precise) did so as well.
The blogging landscape has changed markedly in the intervening period, with many of the top blogs of early 2003 long gone and quite a few relative newcomers having taken over the top rungs. Relatively few of those who started when Steven and I did are still at it.
Political blogging has gone from an almost entirely amateur niche enterprise into something much more similar to the mainstream press, a process that has been both good and bad.
There’s much more talent out there than there was back in the proverbial day. A political science PhD with combat experience and a wonkish expertise in security studies during the run-up to the Iraq War was a novelty in the blogosphere and gave me a hook that allowed me to build an audience very quickly. It would be much harder to break in today absent a pre-existing reputation or the backing of established bloggers.
Because there are so many voices now, though, and many of the best have been acquired by major media outlets and think tanks, there’s a certain Establishment feel to the blogosphere that didn’t exist years ago. The rise of RSS readers and aggregators like Memeorandum mean that fewer of us are using our blogrolls or just keeping a log of interesting things we’re finding on the Web; instead, we’re much more apt to write about what everyone else is writing about.
For what it’s worth, we’ve published 22,744 posts and 593,200 comments (not counting those from the first three months that have since disappeared into the ether) along the way .